In These Times Pacifists are Shameful

“Behind everything we say is our flag, a flag that is the source of hope, a red flag unfurled to the wind. For a long time some wanted to strike our political line on two flanks but we stated that we would pass through the middle. We accomplished this with our heads held high, beating drums and our vision of a distant future. The deeds go on hammering you and your mind opens, generating the idea. We are not abandoning the banners like some foolish person would think because our hands were not made for dropping the flag but for unfurling it.” –Central Committee of the Communist Party of Peru, 1979

group banner

The fascists who confronted Austin’s Red May 1st march tried relentlessly to capture our leading banner. We held tight to it and stand firmly behind our banner, we will never let it drop. As this country spirals into the cesspool of fascism and liberalism’s best answers just lead to collaboration with the far right, we must seriously take up the task not only of self-defense on the personal and community level, but we must also struggle to unite all genuine antifascists behind the necessity of revolution.  Revolution means the long fight for communism and nothing less.

There are those who would demand we surrender; between surrendering to developing fascism and a death earned defending people from it, we must unwaveringly choose the later. We must reconstitute ourselves with communist morality. We must not let our spirits fall. We must bash away the storm clouds which now loom over the most oppressed and struggling people of this country. It is on these values alone that we persist—these values are our bread and our water.

There are those snakes that would tempt with the charms of “safety” or “respectability”, yet there are none less respectable and none more dangerous to the people than these serpents. They have infected the movement for too long and their venom must now be drained. A light emerges through the fog of revisionism, liberalism, and centrism. That light is Maoism and we are the Maoists. We are communists and this is the highest honor which life will bestow. Struggles of such magnitude demand sacrifice in service of the people. We must see no higher task than uniting with the people in the interest of revolution. We must unite the people firmly against the rising flood of fascism. We must steel them in this struggle and embed ourselves inextricably within them.

Reaction in all its expressions rots on the vines of history—it is already in the scrap heap and there it festers still infecting any who come into contact with it. This contagion must be eradicated. The “alt-right”, the less open but no less fascist Trump supporter, the policies of the Trump administration, all must be cured like the diseases they are. Fascist infection of the world was cured before with the victorious march of the Red Army and the treads of their tanks which rode over the skulls of Hitler’s best forces. Fascism is cured with bullets; this is the only discourse for fascism.

What is worth more to us than one successful May Day march are the hard lessons which correct our tactics. What is worth the most is an increased morale and an increased fighting spirit. We send our warmest greetings to our Maoist comrades across this prison house of nations: Red Guards-Los Angeles, Kansas City Revolutionary Collective, Red Guards-Philadelphia, Queen City Maoist Collective, Tampa Maoist Collective, Revolutionary Association of Houston, and all the newer collectives who we have yet to establish official communications with. We send our thanks and salutations to all the revolutionary mass organizations here and elsewhere who inspire our persistence and constitute firm links with the people: Serve The People, Revolutionary Alliance of Trans People Against Capitalism, Defend Our Hoodz, Revolutionary Student Front, Palestine Solidarity Committee. We extend thanks to comrades who have stood with us in the streets: Autonomous Student Network , Oh Shit What Now?, Anarchist Black Cross, and organizations in other cities that are in direct service to their communities.  We extend special honors to antifascists across the land who put themselves in harm’s way defending our communities from the menace—you know who you are and do your work in secret with great pride. Ultimately our greatest gratitude must go out to the working class who alone must be the leading class in the long and ongoing struggle against fascism—everyday working people who persist and fight against the odds in this decrepit capitalist nightmare.

Together we are invincible but only if we fight without fear or relenting. When we fight we fight for communism and everything else will come in time.

-Red Guards Austin

Developmental Fascism and its Modern Twin

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May Day Brigade

On phony Antifascism

In response to the Austin Socialist Collective’s public statement “The Power of Unity”

The Power of Unity is a funny name for an article against fascism considering fascism gets its name from the fasces, which literally depicts the slogan “strength through unity”, a slogan at the core of all fascist ideology. We imagine this irony is lost on the authors of the ASC polemic, but it is a fitting title since what they promote ultimately serves the interest of social fascism.

We have been publicly accused of sectarianism by the local big-tent socialist organization, Austin Socialist Collective (ASC), a split from Socialist Alternative that is still a social-democratic organization and fails to measure up to the title communist in every sense of the word. Our goal in addressing these points is to expose the opportunism and rightist practice of social-democrats.

Let us start by addressing the allegation of “sectarianism.” Social-democrats, no matter the variant, all frame any form of ideological consolidation or ideological struggle as sectarianism. Two-line struggle is the motor  within every communist organization that propels its political development. In fact our whole scientific method is based concretely on two-line struggle; as historical materialists we understand that human history is the history of class struggle and that two lines reflect this class struggle in the history of the International Communist Movement (ICM). This means that these “abstract historical questions” do fundamentally inform the theory which guides our practice. It is true in one sense that the masses do not concern themselves with the Great Debate or the struggle between two lines which manifested in the struggle between Stalin and Trotsky, this is because the masses are not yet communists.

Communists, on the other hand, have a responsibility to continue developing revolutionary science in the field of class struggle, putting it to the test, making corrections, etc. So these questions are of great importance to us because they are precisely where revolutionary theory exists and is taken up as a weapon for changing the world. It must be made clear that in this process of line struggle , developing, upholding , and defending revolutionary science is not “sectarianism”. The conception of sectarianism which equates it simply to having an ideology is nothing but a liberal flattening of contradictions. On one hand it is a call for unprincipled peace with the dominant revisionist-capitalist-liberal ideology within the “left”, on the other hand it is an attempt to prevent the masses from actually grasping and using Maoism, which is the science of revolution.

So what is sectarianism? Sectarianism should be understood basically as painting an entire group with the same brush; this is an error ASC exemplifies with their corny “polemic”. They have systematically ignored the diverse groups which compose and support the Maoist movement in Austin, or more precisely the composition of Red May 1st. As mentioned in previous documents, Maoists are involved in many revolutionary mass organizations while RGA is a cadre formation that is explicitly Maoist. We exist to build the explicitly Maoist Communist Party. If our cadres were sectarian it would seriously impede their ability to unify with the array of revolutionary mass organizations that composed the bulk of Red May 1st. While we will not name these groups they include trans organizations, Palestinian organizations, student organizations, anarchist organizations, community organizations, and anti-gentrification organizations. ASC feels the need to play a numbers game, as if quantity in the absence of class character was the signifier of success; this mechanical thinking stinks of revisionism and reveals that their “anti-sectarianism” is sectarianism itself only it is postured against anything with revolutionary content—dead set against any appearance of revolutionary leadership. They are sectarian to the point of using a fascist attack as political ammunition and reducing the efforts of many people to one Maoist organization they despise.

Likewise sectarianism should not be used to describe the principled stance of refusing to work with reactionary organizations, regardless of what they call themselves. Politics is a process of making demarcations and developing forces—there is no exception to this. Sectarianism refuses to look at line and content and focuses on petty quarrels; this is the way ASC has operated for some time.

Everything is ultra-left in the eyes of a rightist

ASC laughably claims that any action without a mass base is “adventurism” and in doing so they promote inaction—demanding that we fall in line with methods of expression acceptable to the ruling class. Because ASC functions as a reformist and counter-revolutionary organization their entire purpose is to fill pot holes on the capitalist road so that this system functions more smoothly, ignoring that this road has a concrete trajectory and ends with fascism. While we also struggle against fascist laws alongside our comrades in revolutionary mass organizations, we do not make reform-chasing our principle work and seek to establish communist struggles independent of the institutional left. The social-democrats however sit in the legalist rat trap of the institutional left. We should be clear that movements develop through class struggle and nothing else—we must not hesitate to struggle because we lack a mass base. On the contrary, we have accumulated forces that are developing a mass base within daring struggles. We are a fighting organization of working class people who have been melded together in the common cause of revolution. Ultra-left would mean alienating the masses . We do not do this and ASC only thinks we do because they imagine the masses to be middle-class liberals who insist on law, order, and elections; we know the masses see through this.

Paid staff of the ruling class

ASC claim to organize in the fast food industry with “no local resources”; this is because their resources come directly from the SEIU, a reactionary trade union front for the Democratic Party. A few of their members, at least one of whom is in leadership, are paid by this union to organize in this sector. They carry out their work as the paid staff of the bourgeoisie, a bourgeoisie which is in the process of developing fascism. They do not seek to establish independent working class organizations which can truly fight for the interests of our class, they seek to be incorporated into the Democratic Party apparatus that buys up workers against their own interests. This was the same attitude they had toward Socialist Alternative with big claims to change it from within—nothing more than doomed Trotskyite entryism which has failed so much historically that it seems redundant to even mention it here. We have seen numerous events where SEIU representatives bemoan the presence of hammer and sickles ruining their photo ops, where they drag out one token worker in front of a hoard of paid, middle-class representatives and the worker is coerced uncomfortably into giving a brief talk—this is what they consider effective mass work. Like every NGO before them they use whatever con they can to inflate their coffers and administer the concessions acceptable to the bourgeoisie in the interest of systemic institutional maintenance. Do not be fooled by these Mensheviks who quote Lenin or Mao.

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Violence or self-defense?

These social-democrats actually want us to believe that RGA’s entire toolbox contains nothing more than guns and ammo for the purpose of fighting the state and attacking fascists. While this allegation should not be insulting to anyone capable of such a feat it does not reflect the history of our efforts. On the contrary we take on many forms of fighting fascism, evidenced by the events since May 1st. While the social-democrats write armchair rightist polemics, we have been busy in the investigation and exposure of fascists in Texas who attacked our demonstration. This list of vermin includes a cop in training, a bouncer at a local queer bar, and one fascist who has already been fired from their job at a local restaurant. Our antifascist united front and its intelligence wing is demonstrably superior to anything ASC claims to be part of yet they hope that by calling us “violent” in the liberal-bourgeois sense that it will scare supporters away from us.

Let us go into a little bit about revolutionary violence. While ASC liberally conflates “violence” with self-defense for the purpose of confusing the issue, we understand clearly that the movement which we have helped to guide and develop locally must be defended with force. This self-defense of our movement is a basic necessity in response to the material conditions of organizing in the south. We must also always prepare to defend ourselves and one another from increased state repression. Without exception resistance breeds repression from both the state and its popular fascist supporters—it is not adventurism to defend oneself from these attacks. From its safe hiding place, ASC contents itself with blaming those targeted for getting attacked by the state or fascists.

Despite their insistence that their May Day event was not targeted by fascists because of their superior numbers, it was stated plainly by the fascists themselves that their intention was to target the May Day Brigade’s event, which they understood simplistically as RGA’s event.  That is to say, our event was attacked on May 1st because they gathered from around Texas for the express purpose of attacking us. ASC’s event did not avoid a confrontation with local fascists because they represented a superior force, they avoided this confrontation because the fascists never intended to target them in the first place. ASC goes to great lengths here to shift blame away from the fascists and onto the Maoists and our supporters in Austin. Which side are they on?

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By the fascists own account of events they specifically targeted RGA and our numbers were even contrary to the lies ASC clings to

Mao has laid this out very clearly “I hold that it is bad as far as we are concerned if a person, a political party, an army or a school is not attacked by the enemy, for in that case it would definitely mean that we have sunk to the level of the enemy. It is good if we are attacked by the enemy, since it proves that we have drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves. It is still better if the enemy attacks us wildly and paints us as utterly black and without a single virtue; it demonstrates that we have not only drawn a clear line of demarcation between the enemy and ourselves but achieved a great deal in our work”

It appears to us that ASC has sunk incredibly low and approaches the level of the enemy, therefore we consider it great that they have attacked us wildly and painted us as utterly black. They can assume rank with the enemy and let history wash them out. We issue this as our demarcation:

ASC’s liberal, social-democratic, tailist drivel shudders at the very thought of self-defense. They expect class struggle (the struggle between us and ASC is class struggle) to be safe and refined. We are not that type of “socialist”. We are communists who do not balk in the face of attack from the petty bourgeois left-wing of fascism that is represented by the ASC. Instead we see clearly which side of the picket line these fake-reds have found themselves on and we will proceed accordingly with no apology. This is not to say that we consider every single person in their organization or supportive organizations the enemy, we consider them potential friends. Nonetheless we know who the enemy is within ASC and we intend to give that enemy no quarter. As we will explain in more detail later on, we have made a number of formal attempts to prevent the contradictions between Maoists and the big-tent revisionists from turning into on-the-ground antagonism, but we accept conditions to be antagonistic at this point and will struggle accordingly as Maoists.

The intentional confusion of self-defense with violent adventurism is nothing short of a ploy to give cover to fascism and insist on docile methods of protest which actually cede ground to the far-right and leave the left in a state of institutional politics—disarmed and nonthreatening. In this way ASC has confirmed itself as the left wing of fascism. Our coalition march on May 1 was singled out for attack by fascists and due to having even numbers we made the correct decision to take a purely defensive position and extract all the people in attendance safely. Had we been “adventurists” as ASC claims we surely would have gone on the attack. Our tactics of defense were correct. While ASC would demand that we not march on May Day and instead agree to liquidate into their White institutional May Day event, this was not acceptable to any group in our Red May Day coalition. Instead of coming to aid the revolutionaries and antifascists who were attacked, ASC committed to attacking the antifascists, using what they assumed incorrectly to be a sweeping fascist victory to their own opportunistic benefit—this is nothing short of betrayal. They are a liability to all antifascist work in Austin and the snake which lives in your back yard is the one most likely to bite you.

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Self-defense unit, May 1 2017

No investigation no right to talk shit

These fake socialists choose this time to attack an independent organization which started as an initiative of RGA,  Serve The People-Austin (STP-A). They attempt to swindle their readers and speak with authority on the content of STP-A, so we should spend a moment briefly detailing how they came to this conclusion. ASC has never had an official relationship or working understanding of STP-A. All they have done was send in one member, a bourgeois white boy from the rich suburb of Westlake , to our zip code. Our part of the city is opposite to Westlake in every way and so this ASC member was out of his comfort zone to begin with and he stood out like a sore thumb when he attended only one of the STP free stores. He claimed to be volunteering but failed to do any work, either with the masses or with the set up and administration of the store. Instead he tried to pick arguments with anyone he thought might be a Maoist about People’s War and when they chose to not engage with this silly behavior and continued the work the ASC member got bored and after about ten minutes went back to rich kid land. This one interaction is the totality of ASC’s investigation into the revolutionary community organization which they denounce.  If this one Mayo-Trot was their idea of the masses then we should all be glad that he did not stick around.

ASC goes on to state that STP-A is a concrete failure due to the fact that it does not embrace the tired and worn out methods of organizing of ASC and the rest of the institutional legal-left. We understand that we must learn through doing and that this process is one of advances and retreats. They expect us to believe that tailing the SEIU is correct mass work but developing independent service programs free of NGO agendas is both “ultra-left” and doomed to charity. In reality STP-A has been responsible for developing many into Maoists; it has provided not only material aid but political education to its membership, its volunteer base, and the masses in the community. Of course this has not developed a massive support  base but it has helped to make Maoism one of the most dominant ideologies in the Austin left , which has left a bitter taste in the mouth of petty social-democrats like ASC. They ignore the actual composition of STP-A and do not feel the need to investigate beyond one account of one white boy. In reality the revolutionary mass members of STP have been lumped in with RGA completely because they have been politically developed into new Maoists. When they appear at demonstrations they are also prepared to wear masks that signify the fight for socialism and the dictatorship of the proletariat. These comrades are working class and an example of the masses grasping political theory—they do not cease to be masses the moment they become activists. We ourselves are critical of certain aspects of STP, but we are confident that those comrades can overcome their shortcomings as true revolutionaries and do not share the bitter cynicism of ASC.

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STP Know your rights table in opposition to ICE raids, Rundberg and Lamar  2017

Actual not make-believe instances of patriarchy

Our supporters (not our cadres) have engaged directly in struggle against the lies and bad-mouthing parroted by men in ASC , including several founding members and one of their most public leaders. It is our hope that the “diverse three-quarters” of their leadership who have not engaged in attacking antifascists can criticize and discipline these men, if they cannot or won’t then our supporters will gladly take up the charge of exposing and combating their reactionary views. ASC exposes their own patriarchy by stating the following:

 “Some of our male members are more visible and vocal online than our female or non-binary leaders, but equating online volume and visibility with leadership is a reflection of patriarchal prioritization of those skills at the expense of the tremendous offline work our non-male leadership has done in building relationships with other organizations, speaking publicly, planning and leading actions, coordinating meetings, organizing phone banks, and producing political literature.”

This is a concrete example of patriarchy manifesting in their organization. It is a mechanism of patriarchy in phony leftist organizations that the organizational burden of reproductive labor is placed on the shoulders of women and non-men while white men (especially but not exclusively) hog up the limelight, pose as public faces, and posture as authorities online. The labor of the white men is freed up for such activity through nothing other than the patriarchy itself while women in the back are forced to be the modest workers, the unsung heroes who actually hold together the organization. The fact that ASC has not identified this trap speaks volumes  to their level of theoretical development. All this productive labor forced onto oppressed genders and no accountability for loud mouthed men is not exactly an argument that ASC is an example of proletarian feminism. We extend support to those women and non-men comrades should they attempt to combat this in their organization in an effort to hold the hot air bags accountable for their outrageous internet conduct including: a white male leader publicly dead-naming an antifascist activist with her government issued name, exposing her to both doxxing and serious assault from the far right, members of ASC claiming that our comrade who was nearly killed by the pigs who broke his C3 and C4 vertebrae and denied him medical attention was just “faking it”, and the systemic erasure of our comrades in RATPAC who were specifically targeted by violence from fascists for being trans in all ASC commentary. This antagonistic and patriarchal behavior exhibited by members of ASC actually serves to contradict the hard behind-the-scenes work of their own women and non-men comrades who should not be burdened with such idiotic bad elements.

Bourgeois and proletarian concepts of unity

ASC prattles on some revisionist nonsense about political unity, which for them means erasing line struggle and casting aside ideology and the scientific method of making revolution. “Political unity” is just social-democratic jargon to cover for their refusal to spread communism, for their failure to work as revolutionary communists. Most importantly, for them political unity means becoming the administrators of the bourgeoisie, becoming the safe “left” alternative to dangerous extremists in the Maoist movement. Every place where Maoism has spread it faces this exact attack, and it is in the core of our being Maoists that we expose and fight revisionism. Their phony united front is nothing short of forced class collaboration with the system itself.

In the Maoist sense, a United Front requires both independent communist forces which do not cede their autonomy as well as communist leadership which does not tail the other alien class organizations. The party and the communist organization is the concrete organizational expression of the working class and it is the only force which serves that class. A United Front is first and foremost a temporary unity of opposites, a temporary cross class alliance led by the proletariat. It is not a class collaboration which tails the bourgeois institutions and NGOs who actively poison the masses against revolution. This class collaboration and conciliation promoted by ASC is the type of hardcore revisionism which has set the left back in this country immeasurably. Following this model will get the same results which have brought us right to the brink of fascism. If we wish to avoid that grisly fate then we must also avoid the revisionist model that can only serve the interests of developmental fascism.

Not a dinner party

Often in their “polemic” they cite safety and doing things safely, as if revolution and class struggle have ever been safe ventures. Their play-it-safe model of class struggle clearly represents the interest of one specific class and it is not the working class which they serve. Proletarians have many ways to fight but since bourgeois democracy still means democracy for the bourgeoisie and suppression of the proletariat most of those ways exist outside of state institutions. ASC’s purpose is to corral and force workers back into these institutions in the interest of blocking any rebellion and being good managers on the ground. They want to show the pig system what a good job they do keeping the riff-raff workers in line. All states are nothing more than the exercise of class power—the state here is no different , especially in conditions of developmental fascism. In this way ASC leads the working class on the path of defeat.

Quality and quantity

ASC boast of “big numbers” which reflect simply the pull of organizations with paid staff who get their checks cut from the ruling class. These cretins cannot make revolution—it is not in their job description. Their numerical draw is directly connected to playing friends with other poverty administrators. Again it speaks volumes that this big crowd which they boast of was not mobilized to halt fascists from openly marching in our city but instead was used to create a counter event which refused materially to mobilize against fascists, giving the professed fascists what amounts to a marching permit. This perfectly displays not only the class stand of ASC but its class interests as well, its material interests in allowing the fascists to march against and attack those on the left whom these legalist scum feel rightly threatened by. They found a common friend in fascism via seeing us as the enemy.

Past transgressions

This same contradiction traces back to the November 19th  action which they reference opportunistically in their statement. Let’s unpack this briefly: the confrontation with “White Lives Matter” was organized by a coalition of organizations who oppose fascism and at the time this coalition wrongly included ASC, one of two organizations we no longer work together with on this project. Every coalition planning meeting around the event had a majority of revolutionary communists and the social-democrats were an annoying minority. They violated democratic decisions by declaring the action “100% legal” and condemning a diversity of antifascist tactics. They even went so far as to have their members temporarily hijack the event page and directly message those attending to not wear masks and telling folks coming not to open carry. It was democratically determined in the meetings that we would encourage the use of masks and that we would neither encourage nor discourage open carry, that it would be the prerogative of those attending to do so and do so responsibly. ASC even attempted to use the comrade who was assaulted by the pigs (who they have since said was faking it) as a pretext to discourage militancy at the demonstration. This was particularly insulting to us as we knew well that this comrade was outraged his injuries would be used as anything other than encouragement to others to fight even harder against the system which placed him in the ICU.

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ASC members hijacking a coalition page without authorization  to spread legalism against the democratic decisions of the coalition

Failed attempts at principled discussion

We have made multiple honest efforts to reach out to ASC to deliver our criticisms and concerns, both before and immediately after May 1st, in the interest of preventing escalating antagonism on both sides and out of a desire to struggle for common ground in which tactical unity could block fascist movements. Those attempts were one-sided  and with no effort from ASC they of course fell through. Ultimately their members could not help themselves from politically siding with fascists to push their toxic rightist lines. Their rightist, institutional, professional politician approach to organizing has found bedfellows within the “Maoist” movement itself as they have been collaborating for some time with a specific group in Saint Louis that has an ax to grind with Austin Maoists. What they have done for months is an attempt to reestablish rightist, liberal, and social-democrat hegemony in the Austin left by attacking our collective. They stand in direct opposition to the formation of the Maoist Party. They found their golden opportunity to gloat over antifascists being attacked in the streets and have found themselves squarely on the wrong side of history. We discourage any support for ASC at this time and will only concede to on-the-ground support against direct attacks from organized fascists; there can be no collaboration with them, no endorsement, and no unity. If ASC actually came under physical attack by the far-right we would temporarily cease our struggle against them, attempt to neutralize the threat and then resume our struggle. We see this as unlikely since they hid from the fascists last time and pushed liberalism the time before that. They represent a return to Austin liberalism—we fight for a path to communism.

No to big-tent revisionism

No to fascism and its twin sibling social-democracy

-Red Guards Austin, May 2017

 

Fight, Fail, Fight Again, Fail Again, Fight Again Until Victory

May Day 2017 Report

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In the final analysis we cannot conclude International Worker’s Day in Austin to have been a success, so this public statement must necessarily serve a dual purpose as a self-criticism. The Maoist method of analysis requires that we dissect things into two, that we sum up both failures and successes, and in this way we turn a failure into a success. This process of continuity and rupture is precisely how we learn to fight—by fighting.

We must also start at the beginning, summarizing events leading up to May 1st. For the past 3 years RGA has led the development of a militant coalition called the May Day Brigade which organizes street actions on May 1st. This year however activists to the right of our politics formed their own event which sat comfortably within the parameters of law and order, this second event “May Day All Day” or White May Day was organized after our event and, in content, in opposition to our event. Many NGOs and revisionist organizations were behind this as well as some groups we respect and have had the pleasure of working alongside on several fronts.  In any event two May Day actions compromised our numbers and decreased our forces. While it is correct to accept other’s methods of organizing to a degree, it is incorrect to accept these uncritically. By organizing a second event the same day, “May Day All Day” contributed to hurting our numbers. This was a morale boost to the fascists who were able to bring many from out of town. We had no prior knowledge to the plans of the far right. We aim to correct this error in the future by struggling for unity around key issues such as antifascism and holidays celebrated by anarchists, socialists, and communists alike.  Fear-mongering and rumors were started by the far-right due to an unrelated stabbing on the University of Texas campus which they tried to pin on ANTIFA earlier in the day.

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We had organized and planned for a march on May First and we should have organized and planned for a confrontation with fascists, as all over the country reports have been coming in that fascists were trying to make the whole country Berkley. Our planned march was not reckless, it was not designed or intended to use tactics which could put attendance at risk. If communists fear marching on May Day then they have already lost the fight and thrown in the towel to the fascists. To revisionism anything that contains a revolutionary attitude is seen as reckless, “ultra-left”, etc.  This has a positive aspect as well and we must understand that to be attacked by the enemy is a good thing; there is a reason fascists targeted our march and let the social-democrat event be (aside from minor heckling). The fascists are correct in determining us the greater threat and they were also correct in trying to break us— we are antagonistic opposites which cannot co-exist and as things go on this makes street clashes and eventually war inevitability. Only in the past year have we began learning the depth of what must be done to fight winning street battles, and we must be prepared to fail, we must have the courage to hold ground even against the odds.  These conditions put us in a defensive position as normally antifascists are in the offensive position, nonetheless we held our position.

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Our errors were many. We did not prepare those in attendance for a street battle. The police clearly were there as passive observers to protect the fascists. When fascists try to march the police send riot cops to protect them and when they attack our marches the police allow them to do pretty much whatever they like. The main thing is to remember that if a fascist tries to attack you or snatch what you are holding it is your duty to offer stiff and swift defense. If you have a stick use it to break their knuckles or noses. If you are arrested we will fight it in court. We failed to switch tactics from marching tactics to battle tactics due to a crisis of on-the-ground leadership for which we take full responsibility and are putting measures in place to prevent this error in the future. Several cadres and members of other organizations have already been criticized by their respective organizations and provided internal self-criticism. This process as well as the details of command cannot be made public due to security measures. Suffice it to say that there were both breaks in discipline as well as chain of command.

In the start the fascists outnumbered the revolutionaries, then our numbers were matched. We took streets, lost streets and held positions even though we were out gunned. The right has had extensive access to firearms and training and the left has been playing catch up. It is nothing but the influence of liberals and a tendency for rightist conservative thinking that causes the lefts aversion to guns. We must work toward and facilitate an armed and trained left which is also composed of experienced and confident street fighting units which should be armed with sticks or other blunt and close range weapons. This experience has further demonstrated that this is necessary.

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Fascist Ken Reed, who was one of the main organizers of the “white lives matter” rally back in November, was one of the lead agitators on the right. Early on in the march a fascist named William Fears physically assaulted one of the comrades who was guiding chants and for this Fears came very close to forcing our units to use lethal force. Those in attendance could see fear in his eyes as the Partisan unit moved into the ready position prepared to chamber a round. The police themselves panicked at this moment and small ground was fought back from the fascists. Our intelligence units have confirmed that many of the armed fascists were carrying unloaded riffles by their own admittance, and several more were off duty police and military (or ex-military) personnel.  A blood bath was narrowly avoided when the police were forced by threat of armed escalation to restrain their fascist cohorts. In confrontations such as this a principle and secondary enemy should be established and typical methods should be formatted to fit this understanding. There were those comrades in attendance who, perhaps out of habit, attempted to make the Austin Police Department the principle enemy, which failed to sharpen the contradiction between the fascist agitators and police who were ordered to deescalate. Communists must always seek to exacerbate the contradictions among the enemy and make use of their disunity. We attempted to correct this on the ground but its persistence only shows that there is still much theoretical work to be done to bring up intermediate comrades and win them over to these tactics.

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We have come to the understanding that power only respects power, that the police engage differently when a group is armed for fear of escalation. With unarmed demonstrations they bark their orders and with armed demonstrations they tend to show more manners.  We should not take this fact to mean that they will hesitate to defend fascism with lethal force, just as we must not hesitate to defend each other likewise.

Our lack of preparedness is what lead to the overall failure and what led to the fascists being able to collaborate effectively with the police. This is the principle aspect and the maneuvering of the social-democrats of White May Day is the secondary aspect. We have seen from past experience that a small or a matched group of committed fighters can win the day and have a decisive victory, that to win you have to fight.  The fascist fighters tired fast and many out of town fascists dwindled off altogether, the vast majority of them lacked any discipline whatsoever. We must understand that this contradiction in training and commitment is a serious one and we must all take measures to correct this in our favor—this is how we transform a loss into a gain. We should understand that the far right has adapted to using traditional antifa style tactics and will attack even unprovoked, that we must fully prepare for this and see every demonstration as a potential street battle.  We intend to both continue developing an antifascist united front that can struggle for tactical support with any antifascist, this will help to resolve the secondary contradiction. We will continue training physically, mentally, and with arms to resolve the principle contradiction.

We must take this loss standing and hold tight to our banners, we must never let them fall and we vow to apply these lessons and never accept sitting quietly on International Workers Day. While the social-democratic event went off in relative safety we understand that their methods are so acceptable to the state that they earn no repression and even the fascists know they do not constitute a threat worth responding to. We on the other hand do not fear fascists and we do not fear confrontation. We are prepared to lose certain brawls in the interest of winning the coming war. We stand for no platform for fascists and will never apologize for street confrontations. We will not sit back in our desk chairs and scoff off antifascist resistance. Supporters on the ground informed the social-democratic event that fascists were openly marching in Austin, the social-democrats failed to take up the call to help antifascists in Austin prevent this and in the final analysis gave the fascists what amounts to a marching permit. They chose to let other leftists be outnumbered out of their own cowardly reformism, which they pass off as a “sober decision”. They have failed to be antifascists in that instance. Others arrived to back up and defend the city of Austin against fascism, these include Oh Shit What Now?, Anarchist Black Cross, and a few members of Fight For 15. To these comrades we extend the greatest thanks and gratitude. We will return the favor and stand or fall beside you. It is our hope that the revisionists can come to their senses, abandon their dogmas of legalism and actually join into real united front organizing. To do this they must hold police collaborators in their ranks (including a leader of Austin Socialist Collective) accountable and drop their sectarian activity. They talk a big game on the internet but when blows are exchanged on the streets of Austin between Communists and Fascists they are nowhere to be found.  Let it also be stated that regardless of our differences, should they be attacked by the far-right we will gladly show up and help to defend them against fascism—no one should be allowed to be attacked by fascists without stiff resistance, whether they be organizers who we disagree with, unpoliticized people, or even liberals. When fascism is concerned an injury to any of the people is an injury to all of the people.

 

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The fascists specifically targeted people they assumed to be women with violence, at one point even attacking a comrade in a wheelchair who was defended by those around.  One person was briefly arrested but was released without being taken to the jail.  In spite of their best efforts and their importing of fascists from around the state, we suffered no major injuries and no charges stuck.  We defended ourselves and one another and we will continue to do so. We successfully extracted all those in attendance with mobility impairments and made sure everyone else got out safely without being dogged by the fascists scum.

BETTER AN UNDERDOG THAN A RUNNING DOG

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It must be mentioned that without hesitation social democrats and Trotskyites wasted no time using this as an opportunity to attack the Maoist left. Their ideology, like that of Trotsky, rushes to attack actual revolutionaries when the fascists make their move. Meanwhile they engaged in “civil disobedience,” voluntarily allowing some of their people to take arrests. These arrests were for show and no one was booked. We insist that getting arrested should never be something revolutionaries accept willingly, that while we should not fear arrest we should not volunteer for it—we should always resist arrest.  The White “May Day All Day” event saw some minor heckling from a small group of fascists who were actually looking to confront the Red May Day event. Their leaders gloat that this was due to having larger numbers, we insist that it was due to not being targeted by the bulk of the fascists. It also must be made evident that they refused to utilize these “larger numbers” to actually halt fascists who were marching in Austin. Instead they left the revolutionary left to battle on their own then chose to use this for political ammunition.  These cretins showed their true colors on May first and abandoned any claim to being antifascists they showed once again that social democracy, liberalism, and revisionism can often serve as the left wing of fascism itself.

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The fascists themselves will probably be emboldened by this event and they will surely try to march openly in our streets again, even though most of them are not AustInites. We should all take this seriously and take every measure to shut them down. We must not hesitate to sharpen our specific fighting skills with the understanding that there are a number of ways to fight. We must persist in political education geared towards the masses themselves and we must learn from the people while we provide communist leadership.  As the U.S. marches steadily toward the open terrorist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie we must fight inch by inch, with advances and principled retreats understanding that revolution never proceeds along the straight and narrow path, that there are set backs and losses and this is part of the class struggle.  With heavy hearts but heads held high we proceed in careful training, preparation, and mass work so that when the fascists arrive in our city they shall not pass!

It is everyone’s duty to oppose fascism tooth and nail

Buy a gun, learn to use it

Without a people’s army the people have nothing

-Red Guards Austin May 2017

 

Media Blackout of Police Shooting in Austin. FREE PICKLE NOW

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A week ago the Austin Police Department shot a black man nine times, then claim he pointed a gun at them. Lawrence Parrish affectionately known to the community as Pickle, the man the police did their damnedist to try and kill was actually unarmed according to his mother. His family was denied visitation and now he lays bleeding in Dell Valle Jail fighting for his life. Pickle has had body parts removed due to this shooting without his consent or his families consent and is being treated as an inmate instead of a patient who is on the brink. Our sworn duty is to serve the people and this means that Lawrence must not fight alone.  It is no surprise to us that APD tried to murder another unarmed black man, it did not surprise us to hear that they planted a riffle near his body. If their story was true this would not change the fact that Lawrence did nothing to deserve this, the very same pigs who protect the KKK, white lives matter and the Neo-Nazi alt-right have a track record of murdering black people. These pigs have received paid vacation in the form “administrative leave”, a reward for their bloodthirsty, racist and anti-people activity.

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Our hearts go out to the family who held a fundraiser today Easter Sunday in Givens Park in Austin’s east side, and of course, our rage goes out to APD the courts and the prisons who remain a vessel for modern day lynching, mass murder and slavery. Originally the APD had the nerve to state that Pickle fired at the pigs, this lie was proven false by a basic test on the riffle. Time will show that the pigs are also lying about Pikle having the riffle. The people demand that this does not be swept under the rug with the current media blackout since Pickles case has only been reported by networks who has consistently pushed the narrative of the pigs. We push the people’s narrative and tell the pigs to meet us outside because we are ready to do battle for pickle, we call on all to protest, organize, link up and apply the pressure to break this story and rally around the family. We ask that those who can afford it make a donation to help the family persist against this travesty.

Conveniently for them the police have no video of the attempted murder of Pickle. We are expected to take their lying ass corrupt word for it. The pigs have already lied first about being fired upon then they tell us they have no video, then they lie again claiming that the Pickle was shot “a few times” in what world is NINE TIMES a few? The media which exists to reproduce the mostly white ruling class ways of thinking has swallowed this concoction without blinking even though they have had to back track as the lies unfold.  What is worse still is they expect us to swallow this shit too. Like in many cases when the police shoot an unarmed man they have the nerve to charge their victim with assault. In reality it was the police who attempted not only assault but murder. It was Pig Paul Bianchi, Pig  Jordan Wagstaff, Pig Dane O’Neill, and Pig Marcos Johnson. All four of them tried to kill Pickle but they failed, he lives and we must pull out all stops to free him.

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The police exist in our communities like an occupying army, they are the first line of defense for ruling class white supremacist capitalism, with their deeds they bring death to the people and break up our families. We must state clearly that this war was waged on black people by the police, black people are already at war with this system and need a peoples army which can defend and fight. In short we need liberation. There are bad cops and there is bad training but we cannot write this off to just those two particular characteristics of the police. We must dig deeper, look at the fact that the police started as slave catchers and have functioned as that ever since. A good man in a slaughter house still has blood on his hands this system is not about the character traits of individuals within it but about its function as a whole.

Upcoming actions include a phone jam of the jail which has been called for by Serve The People Austin and others, a protest Thursday outside of Dell Valley Jail (details to be announced). You can get involved by reaching out to us directly or contacting Serve The People Austin.

Phone jam info on the STP page:

https://www.facebook.com/servethepeopleaustin/

Donate to his family here:

https://www.gofundme.com/support-for-lawrence-aka-pickle

For an anti-imperialist May Day!

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May Day 2017!

For the past two years we have participated in a coalition of organizers that promotes working-class militancy in Austin on May 1st, International Workers’ Day. We call on the working class and all revolutionaries in Austin to unite on May 1st at 6:00 pm at the corner of West 4th St and Guadalupe near the park to oppose US imperialism and recent ICE raids connected to the proto-fascist Trump administration. The workers of Austin have a shared interest with the workers of the world, the people facing deportation across the US, and the people of Syria. If we oppose deportations and demand that refugees must be made welcome here then we absolutely must oppose the imperialist war in Syria, which creates refugees and torments a sovereign country. In the world today, US imperialism and its corporate monopoly capitalist ruling class are the number-one enemy.

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US imperialism is the number 1 terrorist! 

 

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May Day is international

We extend our heartfelt greetings to our comrades the world over who will rally against capitalism on behalf of our class: Jugendwiderstand in Germany has called for the workers and youth in the working class district of Neukolln in Berlin to assemble and demonstrate and we wish to send them our salutations and comradely greetings from Austin, TX. We also wish to extend our greetings and solidarity to the comrades of Red Guards Los Angeles, Red Guards Philadelphia, Kansas City Revolutionary Collective, Queen City Maoist Collective, San Marcos Revolutionary Front, Dallas Antifa, as well as our comrades in Houston, New Orleans, Mobile,  and elsewhere this May 1st. Comrades across Europe, Asia, and Africa embody the slogan it is right to rebel as they prepare for a day of festive militancy on May 1st. Revolutionary communism does not ask this system nicely—we do not play softball with the police and their collaborators.

We insist that International Workers’ Day must not be stripped of its militant character. There are those  who wish for nothing more than a spot at the table of the ruling class. They desire, like all vampires, the blood of the people, and seek to get it by acting in ways acceptable to the system. Their NGOs as well as revisionist organizations shun all resistance and dampen all rebellion. They equate the inevitable repression that necessarily results from resisting ruling-class interests with abject failure. They are the ruling class dressed as workers, and we must draw firm demarcations between them and ourselves. While these revisionists might speak in the language of revolution, what they are saying is “it is wrong to rebel.” They do not dare to struggle, hence they do not deserve to win.

Revisionism and social democracy as well as the NGO charity complex will (when it suits them) call for an “anti-war” movement. Yet history has firmly demonstrated the cruel limitations of being “anti-war.” We call unequivocally and unwaveringly for an anti-imperialist movement in Austin. We must stress that there are two types of war: the first type is the imperialist war of aggression, which is right now being escalated against Syria (and continuously waged against Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan), and the second type of war is waged by oppressed nations and revolutionary people the world over—a righteous war against imperialism, chiefly US imperialism. This second type is war that we must support—the people’s war in India and the war against US imperialism for democracy in the Philippines as well as wars waged by other nations and liberation forces that lack a socialist character but nonetheless serve the interest of the broad masses by halting or dealing blows to US imperialism. All these wars must be supported. The world proletarian revolution is in the upswing, and the fall of revisionism and its overall discrediting have been consolidated. Maoism is the way forward.

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Antifascist bloc at J 20

We encourage all antifascists, revolutionaries, and comrades to participate in the planned event be they Maoists, anarchists, or any other genuine anti-capitalists, anti-imperialists, or anti-fascists.

1917-2017

This International Workers’ Day is a special occasion: this year marks the 100th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution in Russia, led by the great teacher of Marxism Comrade Lenin. It is Lenin who provided the world with the revolutionary analysis that imperialism is the highest and final stage of the capitalist system. This system has nowhere to go but down. While it steels itself against setbacks and continues plundering the world, we proletarian revolutionaries ready forces to take part in the next great wave of proletarian revolution. We owe a great debt of honor to Lenin and the Bolsheviks, who proved concretely that socialist revolution is possible. Lenin warned of world wars as a result of imperialist countries trying to re-divide the world among them, and it was Lenin who turned the imperialist war between Germany and Russia (part of WWI) into a civil war in which the working class took power. 100 years of Bolshevik revolution have provided the working class with sharp weapons that became sharper still in the struggles in China led by Chairman Mao and the struggles in Peru led by Chairman Gonzalo, who synthesized Marxism-Leninism into Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, proving Mao’s contributions to be universally applicable. None of this would have been possible without the lessons drawn from the Great October Socialist Revolution.

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Long live the teachings of Lenin

May Day goes back to the Chicago Haymarket martyrs of 1886 who fought and died to establish the eight-hour work day and was taken up as International Workers’ Day by revolutionaries the world over. International Workers’ Day was carried out illegally as a day of celebratory resistance in Russia before the October Revolution, after which it was legalized. May Day of 1917 was boycotted by the reactionary Mensheviks and other social-democrats (liberals!) who in their current incarnation here in Austin seek not to boycott May Day but to empty it of all its militant content and make it just another hollow display acceptable to the ruling class and the state. For the past two years we have helped to make May 1st a day to remember in Austin, and we know full well that this would not be possible without, first and foremost, the masses themselves, and secondly comrades in other organizations. It is our honor to carry on in this tradition and to continue waving the red flag of revolution!

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RGA leading  May 1st demonstration in 2015

1917–2017 — May the red flag never drop!

Fight ICE with fire!

US Imperialism out of Syria!

-Red Guards Austin, 2017

On Identity Opportunism

Postmodernism and its influence on the communist movement in the imperialist center

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“We have come to the place where I told you you will see the grieving peoples who have lost the good of the intellect.”—Dante

What is common to all people in hell is that their intellect is now permanently overwhelmed by their narrow self-serving worldviews which can never lead them to the truth.

Real unity is established only on the basis of the interests of the proletariat in proletarian revolution. Narrow self-interest and subjectivism are two persistent errors that communists must steel themselves against, yet from the day we are born we are encouraged by all the poisons of bourgeois society to adopt a worldview that is not in our true class interests, a suicidal ideology that encourages us to place ourselves as disconnected individuals at center stage, where all human interaction and all analysis is degraded to being guided by the slogan “what do I get out of it?” Everyone in the project of revolutionary communism contends with changing this, remolding the world and ourselves in the process.

Maoism is not armed identity politics

Postmodernism, though it can trace its roots to over a century back, in its present garb, it draws extensively from the philosophies of Nietzsche, the philosophical father-figure of Hitler’s fascism.

Postmodernism got a major boost due to the intellectual vacuum resulting from the temporary set-back to communism, resulting from the reversals in the Soviet Union and China, and a retreat of the national liberation movements that witnessed an upsurge in the 1960s and the 1970s. In the resulting atmosphere of pessimism, postmodernism found thousands of takers even from the ranks of the Marxists, demoralized by the setbacks.”—Siraj

In this process Siraj describes here, postmodernism without a doubt established hegemony in the left academic centers within the imperialist countries, becoming the default framework of analysis in most social movements and permeating online spaces and social media. It is a poisoned apple that the desperate reach for wherever there is not a readily accessible revolutionary method for analyzing and contextualizing the various specific oppressions that specific groups face.

One of the main forms postmodernism takes in leftist circles is identity politics. As we use it here, the term “identity politics” refers to a method for analyzing the world that puts identity as principal over political line. That is, it treats the opinions expressed by individuals who face oppression as the indisputable truth. It should go without saying that this method of analysis denies reliable access to the truth by throwing out the possibility that the opinion of the individual or group in question could be contradicted by a scientific analysis of capitalism-imperialism, as informed by a deep and broad examination of the facts of history.

Maoism, in its analysis of the dialectical relationship between the economic base and the superstructure, understands that class oppression causes and is influenced by a number of identities. While these identities are formed in the ferment of a white-supremacist and patriarchal society, it is a defeatist error to build a politics principally on these identities. Thus, while identities can inform a political line, what is principal must be the political line itself and not the identity. In this regard all forms of “identity politics” must be criticized and uprooted in the interest of a materialist analysis and a communist politic. Maoism recognizes the existence of specific and overlapping oppressions in the context of a nuanced class analysis and an analysis of class struggle.

Since the beginning of the end of the communist ebb that Siraj described, there has been a rise in interest around communism, not only in a more or less conscious response to the beginning of the Trump administration and the shortcomings of the Democratic Party but also more broadly due to the material conditions of US imperialism and the rise in popular right-wing ideology caused by a crisis of neoliberalism. These material conditions offer an opportunity to win sections of the masses over to MLM. At the same time, in the absence of the Maoist party we cannot offer sufficient political education to every person who gravitates toward communism. Due to these objective and subjective factors, many who call themselves Maoists or who claim adherence to MLM have deep misunderstandings and confusion about the very ideology they have come to identify with.

In this paper we can only concern ourselves with US conditions, but we feel that this analysis may prove useful for other imperialist countries where postmodernism and other bourgeois ideologies have held hegemonic influence over academics and college students. This hegemonic influence has penetrated almost every online space, especially on social media sites like Facebook and Tumblr, which like all major media under capitalism are controlled by the ruling class and function as part of the ideological state apparatus to reproduce bourgeois ideology. It is no shock that the result is that some are misled to believe that MLM = identity politics + armed struggle and militancy. Nothing could be further from the truth, but we must nonetheless examine this phenomenon in attempting to correct mistaken ideas.

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In the recent historical context of the US, the Marxist-Leninist movement has largely suffered from a workerist politics (itself a form of identity politics only centered around the Eurocentric conception of  workers as white men in factory jobs), failing to take seriously or properly analyze modes of oppression such as white supremacy and patriarchy. It was the sins of Eurocentricism, sexism, settlerism, and white supremacy that led so many self-identified Marxists from the previous era to a tendency of erasing oppressed groups from their analysis. None are worse about this than the Trots, left-coms, and assorted “orthodox” Marxists, who dogmatically cling to the past and draw from only a few select prophets for their so-called science.

MLM has sought to correct this failing, analyzing colonialism and the history of the United States and paying the special attention required to properly understand internal colonies, oppressed genders, and other oppressed groups. This nuance is immediately appealing to those who are recovering postmodernists: they gravitate to Maoism but have not yet mastered it as it is—as a method of analysis and guideline for action—and instead default to seeing MLM in the way that undialectical and idealist liberalism encourages us to see all ideologies: as a playbook or a set of positions that, if you generally adhere to them, you can call yourself a Maoist. We reject this principle and insist that to be a Maoist one must not only conceive of Maoism as a method of analysis but also put it into practice organizationally, and that only then should one claim to be a Maoist.

We should not, as some revisionists do, mechanically reject identity politics without any discussion. If postmodernism has been ushered into popularity on the wings of communist failure, then we must engage with these failures while simultaneously carefully trying to understand both the limitations of identity politics and the reasons for its popularity. To do this we must seek out the kernel of truth that is hidden within postmodernist identity politics.

One of the most common manifestations of identity politics is an analysis that identifies each mode of oppression as its own independently rooted system instead of correctly identifying that class oppression—driven by capitalism-imperialism’s need to exploit—is the root of all oppression. This sometimes tries and fails to correct itself with mechanisms like intersectionality that are still not rooted in a materialist class analysis. Anyone can see that oppressions intersect and overlap, but postmodernist theory cannot scientifically identify exactly why this happens, let alone what can be done about it.

The critical kernel of truth to grasp in such analyses is that class oppression frequently works through modes of oppression such as patriarchy and white supremacy, and that capitalism-imperialism as it exists in the world is continuously reproduced in the material conditions created by these oppressions. Still, it must be understood that class oppression is the principal oppression that drives the entire system. To put an end to all oppressions, class struggle must be kept as the key link, even as we understand other modes of oppression as aspects of how class oppression functions within capitalism-imperialism, as a means of making continuous exploitation possible. At the same time, these modes of oppression react back upon class oppression, mutating it further, constantly changing or updating  the bourgeois methods of coercion or gaining consent. One example is the way the ruling class has proudly noted that the commander of one of the two ships that recently launched missiles to strike a Syrian airbase is a woman. US imperialism itself has embraced identity politics and intersectionality as useful mechanisms to give itself cover in and attempt to gain the consent of the American people as it plunders and kills around the world.

All communists must recognize that those who are genuinely concerned with ending these oppressions must also become concerned with the overall project of human liberation, and even with their errors we must regard them as comrades and be patient, knowing that they are coming from a place of progressive desire and thus have revolutionary potential.

Identity opportunism’s manifestation in the “left”

This paper does not have the capacity to flesh out all the shortcomings in Marxism that gave prominence to the aforementioned errors but must aim to contend specifically with the ways in which postmodernism has polluted our current movements, and in which ways it comes into contradiction with the basic law that the masses make history and must be involved organically with the communist project.

“Identity politics” has become disdained in communist circles to the point where even some of the most opportunistic identity politicians will decry “identity politics” as a scourge. Much like the word “revisionism,” the phrase “identify politics” is often used in a haphazard way that promotes confusion instead of clarity. Since there are deadly real political-economic roots that have formed and continually reproduce each specific group of oppressed people, we must seek to run our organizations in such a way that oppressed groups are represented in the leadership of our movement. To do this we must formulate lines using the mass line method of leadership, which will draw forth the most advanced within the most oppressed sections of our society.

Yet the identity politics that is most often practiced is not a set of politics that comes from a consistent desire to struggle for liberation but instead an inconsistent, vulgar identity opportunism. The identity opportunist resorts to identity politics only when it is convenient for whatever agenda they hold at that time, whatever best accommodates their self-interested careerism or quest for the spotlight. Such narrowly self-interested behavior has long been seen as unprincipled and unacceptable by actual communists—however, identity opportunism, unlike most other forms of opportunism, frequently passes unchallenged by many genuine communists because of two sincere and understandable motives: a hesitancy in new supporters of communism due to their uncertainty about what a genuine Marxist analysis of oppression looks like, and a desire that is present even in more seasoned communists to avoid repeating the chauvinism of previous generations of Marxists. But identity opportunism also very commonly finds cover through a type of sycophancy that will be discussed later.

Identity opportunists might claim, for instance, that a whole collective of Chicano activists is controlled by one white man, or that they do not have to accept the leadership of a black woman due to the fact that she is allegedly brainwashed by men—using racist and patriarchal stereotypes, in total contradiction of what they preach. We have seen both of these in attacks from opportunists in the revisionist camp.

These identity opportunists exist inside of the communist movement but also surrounding it. Many of us have witnessed or heard of liberals discouraging direct action on the basis of the presence of undocumented people, even if it is many among the undocumented people themselves who are most interested in confrontational tactics. The simple fact is, revolution is what will benefit the most oppressed, so identity opportunism is often an excuse to avoid the militancy that is materially most beneficial for oppressed groups. In essence, like all opportunists, the identity opportunist does not actually care about anything but themselves and their own personal interests—to hell with the actual masses who face whatever oppression they sometimes express concern about.

Another harmful manifestation of identity opportunism is an insistence that white comrades who are militantly organizing face no state repression. This line—in essence a call to refuse support to any comrades facing a repression that these opportunists claim can’t exist—helps to serve such comrades up to the state. No one will deny that black and brown militants face harsher repression and even murder from the state. Understanding this, we must not twist privilege into the be-all, end-all and conclude incorrectly that the capitalist imperialist state will hesitate to kill and imprison communists from privileged groups who have materially become traitors to colonialism and white supremacy. The state, especially in its proto-fascist stages, does not and cannot give a pass to any genuine communist militants.

Maoism holds that there is objective truth, that there are correct and incorrect ideas, and that ideas that conform to reality most closely are the most correct while ideas that do not conform at all to the material reality of concrete conditions are incorrect. Meanwhile, identity opportunists readily prescribe one thing for themselves and another for everyone else. Their opportunism is so deep-rooted they will often fail to struggle against incorrect lines presented by oppressed-identity people—so long as it suits them.

Call-out culture is not principled criticism

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One of the worst aspects of the postmodernism in leftism is the twisting of the Maoist tool of criticism into call-out culture. Identity opportunists in particular will readily use Maoist language to dress up their counterrevolutionary concepts.

Where legitimate criticism comes from a genuine interest in what is best for the people and the people’s revolutionary advanced detachment, call-out culture rejects this principle and instead seeks to belittle and destroy others in order to gain private advantage. Where call-out culture often manifests in throwing shade, usually behind the back of the person being “criticized,” criticism in the Maoist sense is offered directly to the person being criticized. Call-out culture attacks individuals and not the ideas in their heads, seeking only scapegoats and not actual, nuanced explanations for shortcomings in the movement, and thus it relies on half-truths and lies.

Call-out culture is inherently bourgeois. Knowingly or not, the motivation behind call-out culture is personal advancement of the person making the call-out, seeking to demonstrate to everyone watching that they are advanced enough to identify errors in anyone and everyone and bold enough to offer total denunciation. Call-out culture is based on a subjectivism: individualism. It looks for targets instead of investigating reality in its full and difficult complexity, and so it jumps to conclusions and inevitably mistakes friends for enemies. The communist method of placing criticism is truly proletarian as it understands that the whole is greater than the part, the collective is greater than the individual, and the masses themselves are the real heroes. To overcome this subjectivism, one must have a good understanding of the dialectical relationship between theory and practice, as laid out by Mao in On Practice.

Point-scoring and bullying have no place in this movement and should be eradicated from our thinking. No one (communist or not) should be expected to unite with attacks against them even if they are dressed up as criticism. Such sham criticism should be rejected outright and used to expose the opportunistic motivation of the person placing it. In this way such unprincipled attacks only demarcate between revolutionaries and counterrevolutionaries. Call-out culture is lazy, vindictive, and insipid and should be understood to be beneath the high moral standard that Maoists must aspire to.

Call-out culture is particularly endemic among those who have no political lives outside of social media. Their error is all the more sharp because there are no consequences without accountability to viable organizational structures, and there is no one to face up to for making criticisms that benefit no one but themselves (and, objectively, the state).

The vilest practitioners of call-out culture are unorganized wreckers who posture as or fancy themselves as leaders of the movement with an amount of arrogance that would be comical if it weren’t so destructive. Many such people believe that call-outs can actually materially isolate individuals—or even entire organizations—who may be in error. This is not how political isolation works. It must be understood that a decision to isolate is not to be taken lightly and cannot even be carried out without power—to isolate you must be able to confront and to enforce a verdict. When the enemy benefits more than the masses do from someone’s call-out, that person has failed the people and switched sides. The state loves nothing more than the Trotskys of the world denouncing the International Communist Movement while pretending they are part of it.

For people facing great difficulty trying to become organized where they are physically located—or, much more commonly, for those who refuse to try—spending a great deal of time on leftist social media is very common. And for people who pay so much attention to other leftists online, resorting to call-out culture is a persistent danger—because it is normalized, and because it is easier (in the short term) than remaining principled and going about things the right way. Here the right way means investigation, practice, and bonds of unity developed through struggle, all of which require patience, research, and painstaking commitment.

Pandering sycophants: Self-deprecation is not self-criticism

Most of us who have spent some time on leftist social media have witnessed white people, flocking around internet guerrillas fighting a holy war against perceived privilege, trying to score points with oppressed-nations people (or others who face oppression) by pandering to their every viewpoint to the point of becoming full-blown sycophants who no longer even bother to try to hold a political line of their own. Whether implicitly or explicitly, those doing this pandering have failed (or refused) to understand that although privilege exists along the lines of oppression, privilege and exploitation are two different things. Having made this mistake, they fear (or proudly announce) that they are in essence always and automatically the enemy. Whether due to sincere mistakes or gross opportunism, these people are afraid to disagree even on a principled basis with bad lines or mistaken ideas being put forward by their oppressed counterparts.

This is not what we encourage when we speak of the necessity of representation of oppressed groups in the leadership of our movement. It must be said loud and clear: pandering is racist (or sexist, etc.). It is an expression of chauvinist paternalism because it regards oppressed-group comrades as too fragile to confront their own mistaken ideas or challenge and correct their own errors. It denies the chance for serious corrections to be made by those being pandered to. In this mess, the correct line is never struggled out and the organization (or, more likely, online friend club) will stumble around in circles.

Maoism holds that there is a correct line and that it can only be found through struggle against incorrect ideas, incorrect ideas that every single person without exception will bring with them into the communist movement. These correct lines must also be systematically corrected, tested, and reformulated. Sycophants cannot struggle; they cannot be a useful part of any liberation movement, whether for national liberation or to end patriarchal oppression. They most often become accessories to petty-bourgeois ideology existing within oppressed groups. They have in essence abandoned the revolutionary project (and the revolutionary truth that one divides into two) in order to become what they see as good allies. But being a comrade means holding each other accountable, supporting each other, and criticizing each other when we make mistakes.

The flip side of the corruption of criticism into call-out culture is that self-criticism from sycophantic “good allies” becomes a self-deprecating act that is altogether performative. In the ranks of those who persist in believing that MLM = identity politics + armed struggle, self-criticism is most often nothing more than a halfhearted apology, self-deprecation, or a quick act of appeasement for anyone watching who lacks their own privileges.

They turn it into a hollow formality that is not only useless but actually harmful to the task of self-remolding. Performative self-criticism smuggles errors on to the next mistake or crisis. It might touch upon errors or even go into them for the sake of performance, but it does not offer any meaningful or lasting change. There is almost never a genuine dissection of themselves into two—in essence, it refuses rupture. Much as when drug addicts admit to their loved ones that they have a problem in order to get those people off their backs so they can continue using in peace, they have not truly admitted to themselves that they have lost control to drug use and do not yet rationally comprehend the extent of their addiction. Organizations and collectives must fight hard against performative self-criticism by exposing it consistently.

The nature of this society is rooted in capitalist exploitation, so the default attempts at self-criticism from untrained cadres will take on this performative character out of an assumed peer pressure and a social tendency of bad faith in the critic as well as a lack of faith in the process of criticism. People engaging in this error have sold themselves (and their comrades) short and will stay in the filth of narrow self-interest unless rupture with the bourgeois self takes place. Performative self-criticism is endemic among all identity opportunists and is not unique to the sycophants but is also often carried out by those they pander to.

True communist self-criticism always dissects the good from the bad, the bourgeois from the proletarian, the correct from the incorrect, and so on. Self-criticism relies totally on the laws of dialectical materialism, and for this reason it cannot be casually carried out in the absence of a theoretical perspective and most often requires organizational structure. This paper lacks the scope to fully explain the right way to carry out criticism and self-criticism, so in order to learn more we encourage our readers to closely study the book A Basic Understanding of the Communist Party of China and pay attention to the chapters “The party’s principles of the ‘three do’s and the three don’ts’,” “Party discipline,” and “The ‘three great styles of work’ are a fine tradition of our party.” This book has been made available in print by our supporters at our request so that it can serve as a training manual for all revolutionaries who wholeheartedly seek to make Maoism their guiding ideology.

Patronizing elitists and online professors of perfect discourse

Marxism does not require accolades from intellectuals indulging in some sort of benumbing exercise, that cannot augur well for the people mired in poverty and exploitation or the people facing imperialist onslaughts.”—Siraj

One persistent major error in the US “left”—one that is especially evident among those who call themselves communists but are not part of any group with an actual existence away from the internet—is a tendency to focus on word choices, splitting hairs instead of analyzing the actual substance of political line and content. These types of people compete to see who can say the wrong things in all the right ways, admonishing those who are not trained in their hyper-critical and elitist language rules. In practice this amounts to an ongoing condemnation of the masses, whose method of speaking and choice of words is often anathema to these online professors of perfect discourse.

To them ammunition can be found almost anywhere, and they make their perception the thing that determines reality, placing themselves at the center of things. Regardless of what they declare their intentions are, in political practice such people rarely encounter the masses, and their methods can only form insular cliques instead of establishing the many strong links with the masses necessary to build the party. God forbid anyone makes an error or becomes “problematic,” lest they be “isolated.” This is not the communist principle of serving the people; it mistakes common or popular language for material abuse and in the process drives the masses away from studying and learning revolutionary politics. The real tragedy is that these hair-splitters themselves have almost no grasp of the communist stand, worldview, and method, and yet they pose as authorities on how others should communicate and behave. This is uninviting and ugly behavior, undemocratic and counterrevolutionary. It can lead only to favoritism and bankrupt and self-serving competition in oppression Olympics.

A communist must pay attention to the content of someone’s communication and work to grasp the essence and not allow themselves kneejerk reactions or hair-splitting technicalities. A communist must regard the masses with faith and confidence, bringing them forward instead of pressing unrealistic and incoherent codes of conduct from above. Society is transformed by violent revolution against the economic base and is continuously transformed afterward by continued revolution in the superstructure in the form of cultural revolution. We have seen the backward brought up by world historic revolutions—for instance peasant men in China who promoted foot-binding ending up joining the Red Army. We are correct to assume that their methods of communication were also “problematic,” yet as communists the CCP did not write off or isolate the peasantry as a social base for revolution—if they had there would have been no revolution and the imperialists and capitalists would have prevailed far sooner. This hair-splitting inevitably treats the masses as enemies and fails to understand the relationship between culture and capitalism-imperialism. Whether they admit it or not, they act as though it is possible to transform society without armed struggle and without the participation of the masses. They do not seek unity and it is “not their job to educate” the masses. We have even seen some self-proclaimed communists asking to be paid before they would be willing to explain mechanisms of oppression to new supporters of communism. These running dogs have taken the capitalist road from the very beginning, instantly failing to be communists, never amounting to anything but elitist counterrevolutionaries.

The conclusion of the line of identity opportunism

Perhaps the worst crimes of identity opportunism lie in its expert ability to conceal itself and poison comrades against each other. It utilizes ultra-leftist methods to push forward rightist lines. Because of this, identity opportunism harms oppressed groups the most by opportunistically using their oppression for narrowly self-interested ends. What is in the interest of all oppressed people in the US is the simultaneous and concentric construction of the three instruments of revolution—the party, the people’s army, and the united front—and identity opportunism greatly harms and impedes this construction.

Rejection of discipline, making excuses, and calling those who try to help “abusive”

Identity opportunism, like all manifestations of postmodernism in the left, rejects communist discipline. Notions like “not policing the bodies of drug addicts or their choices to use” and “children can consent to sex” (actual arguments made by identity opportunists!) are all based on extreme individualism that has become fully reactionary. Communists are not libertines. We are not libertarians who place the individual above the collective—we place the collective, the party, and the masses above all. Because of this principle, we must submit to discipline, and we do not make excuses for indiscipline or seek to use identity to apologize for a lack of discipline. Even those of us with disabilities know well that we have to self-criticize when we make mistakes, that we cannot refuse to work to correct our errors because of our disability and hide from criticism the way identity opportunists persistently seek to do. We use our individual oppressions and lived experience to spur ourselves forward in the cause of liberation, never as an excuse to not do the work that all communists must do. We confront the enemy regularly and do not put our own self-interest above the interests of the masses.

Communist discipline is indispensable; it is one major aspect of the historical successes of the revolutionary project, and without it nothing could be accomplished. We are convinced through practice that anyone, regardless of ability, can raise their level of discipline. We seek to understand and transform society, not to become anti-social extremists who are unpalatable to the masses. We do not seek to act as if social interaction exists outside of the capitalist system. And to deal with the contradiction of living in and being influenced by a wretched world that we seek to completely transform, we rely mainly on discipline: we submit to the majority and the leadership of our organization. That being said, it must also be stated that the majority is not always correct just by being the majority. In many historical instances, a minority held the correct line; for instance, China and Albania were correct against the majority who submitted to modern revisionism. Even if the majority of collectives in our movement upheld the false principles of the identity opportunists (thankfully they do not), we would not give in or abandon our ideology—we would only struggle to correct the course and improve our discipline. Adherence to the values of democratic centralism serves our entire movement well—and by that same token, it is ludicrous to pretend we must submit to the leadership of random unorganized people. Doing so would be thoroughly rightist, yet people definitely do exist who, on the basis of identity politics, would make such a ridiculous demand.

The proletariat has nothing to gain from postmodernism and opportunism, so clear demarcations must be made in the unwavering service of the class.

On internet conduct

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Unlike comrades who walked the revolutionary road before us, we face the historically unique phenomenon of the internet and in particular the popularity of social media. There are a great number of complexities, but it is up to us to analyze this in its historical context and develop codes of principled online conduct.

Needless to say, for many reasons the internet breeds bad-faith engagement. It lacks the real and sharp consequences that would face wreckers on the ground (resistance and even immediate physical risk). And, more generally, because online it is very difficult to engage the people one encounters in a thoroughgoing and all-around way, online interactions very often take on a shallow, make-believe, lighter-than-air character. These conditions have been fertile ground for identity opportunists and other charlatans who seek the limelight. There is no shortage of megalomaniacal YouTube “Maoists” to demonstrate this. Many social media accounts are nothing but “sock puppets” of individuals seeking amusement or shallow praise, and all too often self-declared communists organizers are in reality neither communists or organizers. So many people online feed on the circus of online debates and gleefully await the next round of vicious drama. In the past they might have contented themselves with teen dramas or soap operas, but today they are into actively stirring up internet drama. The US more than any other country has a major problem with these types, and the only way to neutralize them is to not take them seriously, to never entertain them, and to set higher standards for placing and receiving criticism—in short to not stoop to their level of toxic interaction and bad-faith mudslinging, reckless labeling, and so on.

We do not get to take either ultra-left or rightist approaches when it comes to the internet, nor do we get to ignore the fact that the masses themselves use social media, and that plenty of people discover communist politics in online spaces—we just have to contend with this terrain with dignity and in a principled and productive way. In seeking to not undervalue the role the internet plays, we must not overvalue it either. Many seem to engage in either overemphasis or near-total avoidance with no balance between the two. Inactive Facebook pages belonging to self-declared “collectives” and even “parties” do not accurately represent organizational capability and should not be confused with real communist organizations. What’s more, a lack of internet presence does not indicate a lack of practical activity. Many of our cadres do not use social media at all, yet they are expected (by lots of those who do) to be abreast of all the recent internet drama, and in some cases we have been criticized for not submitting to the requests of people we do not know. A lot of so-called leftists who seem to exist only on Facebook have fancied themselves to be something like the Comintern! They see themselves as beyond needing the democratic centralism of any actual organization and think their subjectivist analysis made from a distance is the be-all, end-all verdict on issues materially affecting organizations. Coaching from the bleachers is nothing new and it is not unique to the internet—nonetheless these overinflated egos must not be encouraged in our movement. Anyone can find three Facebook friends, start a group chat or Google hang outs, and call it a collective—but this does not constitute a legitimate and real organization with mass links, and no matter how many online arguments one gets into, materially one still will not be serving the people.

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On a similar note, it should be said that even for well-meaning individuals who come to communism mainly through the internet, it is easy enough to accidentally deceive oneself into thinking that the small sample of people one encounters online can reveal something about the broad masses. For instance, one may start to think that the masses of working people are already very familiar with communism, or (if one encounters many reactionaries) that they are all already dead-set against communism. In truth, there is no way at all to meaningfully grasp the realities of what the working-class people in one’s own locality want, think, and care about without going among them and uniting with them. An even greater risk—one that is more obvious and more difficult to justify, but one that seems to trap just as many people—is the belief that in order to be a communist, it is enough to simply sit on the internet, making memes or call-out posts. But to be very clear, as Mao says in Combat Liberalism, one cannot call oneself a communist unless one looks upon the interests of the revolution as their very life and subordinates their personal interests to those of the revolution. To be a communist requires unimaginably more than following one’s own whims on leftist social media.

While social media can be a trench of struggle, it is not to be confused for anything near the most important one. Social media chats, Google hangouts, and message boards are not places where real communist revolutionaries discuss organizing—we have more secure methods of communication, and comrades who are confused on this point will have difficulty handling technology responsibly, and would put themselves at great risk from the state should they actually accomplish any radical work.

On the subject of security, many would-be communists who spend a lot of time on social media should think carefully before sharing their personal information in ways that are very normalized online, even among the working-class masses. Many well-intentioned comrades are putting themselves at risk of being harassed, doxxed, or worse by fascists because of how loose they are with identifying and personal information of all kinds. It is astonishing and yet commonplace how many people—despite having many people on their friends lists whom they do not know personally—frequently post up-to-date pictures of themselves, provide information about places they frequent, and even offer up intimate psychological and emotional details that fascists (and the state) could easily make use of to manipulate them. To make matters worse these same people tend to openly discuss which organizations they are part of or worse yet who else belongs to other organizations. This only shows the limitations of their own experiences and the low level of development of their “organizations.” If they wrongly feel no threat from the state or its growing fascist supporters, then it would seem they have no interest in becoming an actual threat to this oppressive system.

Postmodernist academia has without a doubt infected online spaces and social media, and it has brought with it the primary mandate of bourgeois academia to present “interesting takes” or “new” frameworks—an institutional mandate that is not based on scientifically struggling to change the world, but instead on social climbing and the profit motive. No matter how “interesting” these approaches may be, they lose all credibility when put into practice, and in truth they are toothless concoctions of bad ideas strung together to look like something radical and new. Old ideas must always re-dress themselves, but underneath, these “new” paradigms are always just more bourgeois bullshit.

There is nothing inherently wrong with turning to the internet for social and political interaction, and we understand the many ways that online interaction can be helpful, so we are far from decrying all interactions on social media. But we seek better ways to utilize it that can benefit the people—and not just boost the egos of individuals trying to build personal brands, competing with each other over the small pool of easily impressed admirers. The online following of our social media accounts and our blog are due completely to our-on-the ground work and our theorization of this work.

By that same token, those who spend a great deal of time on social media should bring a profound skepticism to the hyper-individualistic culture that is normalized in these spaces. By no accident whatsoever, social media corporations and their supporters constantly propagate a culture that encourages users to look for shallow idiosyncrasies about themselves to polish up and turn into a spectacle, to seek approval from people they often barely know. This habitual and compulsive narcissism is completely toxic to a life oriented toward and in service of the broad masses.

In an even greater hazard, among many self-identified leftists online, there is a culture of mutually offering uncritical praise and comfort among people who cannot possibly actually know in a substantive fashion what is going on in each other’s lives. This practice is completely corrosive to the genuine communist method—if we are making errors, we should seek to understand them and struggle to change them, not to fool ourselves thoroughly enough that we can be placated by distant acquaintances.

Once one has realized that capitalism is nothing but decadent and poisonous and that communism is a necessity, it is natural and understandable that one would seek others who understand this with whom one can vent and share frustrations—especially if the only ideologies one encounters in one’s life away from the internet are liberalism and reaction. However, the communist movement is not a subculture, and in fact to treat it principally as an escape is to pervert it into its opposite. Marxism is not a collection of comforting cultural touchstones for people who have become enlightened—it is and has always been about embracing struggle. Capitalism is an intense force for commodification, and just as it made Che Guevara t-shirts in the past (both to promote a mythic symbol of revisionism as well as to rip away the revolutionary aspects of Che himself), it now makes what might be called “communism-themed” meme groups that are, paradoxically, full of people sheltering themselves from the broad masses. This widespread phenomenon should be criticized sharply.

This is not to say that there is no room for humor or even memes about the communist movement. In fact, just as fascism has spread in part because of the propagation of alt-right memes, people have also been led toward Marxism through first encountering communist memes. How can we handle this contradiction—what sort of communist memes are helpful? They are helpful if they consciously attract people toward communism without trivializing it or downplaying what it means to be a communist; if they provide recuperation and validation to comrades engaging in difficult and necessary political work; and if they promote proletarian culture and reveal the atrocities, degeneration, and hypocrisies of the bourgeoisie and their faithful servants. But to give too much effort, seriousness, and legitimacy to the project of making memes is not beneficial.

We have been justly criticized by comrades and enemies alike for having members and supporters who were too antagonistic with people on social media, and we have taken those criticisms and have ceased all such behavior and now seek in-person contact for settling disputes and carrying out struggle, or other means when in-person contact is not possible. We no longer operate in the echo chambers of “Leftbook.” We do not entertain the endless speculation and nitpicking that passes for politics on websites like Tumblr any more than we entertain the viewpoints of right-wing trolls on sites like reddit. Facebook is not where serious issues in an organizational sense will be hashed out, and our membership no longer enters into petty arguments with do-nothing internet intellectuals.

In cases where we have been unfair with genuine comrades and painted them with the same brush as we did bad elements, our members have self-criticized to them directly and tried to make amends, and in the future we will proceed humbly and with better faith. It must also be understood that as a collective that is very active in material struggles in the streets of Austin, we do not have the time to respond to every single critical comment or attack made by individuals on Facebook. This is not because we do not care about what people think of us, but it is outright impossible to engage with every single person on an individual level the way we do with people who have organized themselves into legitimate collectives. By that same token, we also cannot pretend that collectives that have not managed to get organized and carry out sustained principled work deserve our immediate attention. Struggles for unity must take place around practical activity and mass work, not the occasional action or attending of random demonstrations, and certainly not around a carefully constructed online presence.

Identity opportunism propagates itself primarily via the internet and finds its primary trench in online spaces; its “support base” is people who seldom organize among the masses and have all the time in the world for internet feuds. Identity opportunism likes to hear its own cries of outrage echoed back to it from faint-of-heart online followers. Fortunately, many of these types cannot muster a crowd to save their lives and so they should be understood for what they are: people who say substanceless nothings just to hear themselves speak. The masses do smell the shit that these charlatans spread as “communism” and they will never want anything to do with it. We aim to continue using social media to propagate our work and hold that one should not be propagating without work to back it up. Strategy and lines must be formulated from actual practice, and overvaluing whatever one happens to encounter on social media in this regard is disastrous.

While identity opportunism is rooted in postmodernism, we must also note that postmodernism itself is not in stasis. Nonetheless, it cannot surpass its own roots in metaphysics. Maoism, as a Marxist and materialist science, stands resolutely opposed to metaphysics and must not be allowed to degenerate into any formula espoused by postmodernism. Identity politics in both its well-intentioned and opportunist forms must be guarded against, and Maoists must seek to unify the broad masses around the goal of taking power for the class. Any project or analysis that claims to do this without interest in the well-being of the broad masses must be clearly exposed as fraudulent and reactionary.

Build the party on the firm basis of a materialist analysis!

Expose opportunists and reject postmodernist charlatans!

—Red Guards Austin, 2017

Urgent Support Needed for the Rebels in Pittsburgh

March 20th Rebellion at Allegheny Jail, Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

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On March 18th, prisoners at Allegheny County Jail in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania began a sit-in. Eighty prisoners took part in the action to demand more case workers, better medical services, and a legitimate grievance procedure. Monday March 20th, masked demonstrators converged on the jail in solidarity with those protesting inside and smashed windows of the jail, a security camera, and several police vehicles. The action was broken up after police arrested eleven protesters. Indiscriminately slapping felony charges on anyone they could get their hands on. When the police attack our comrades they have every right to rebel, to fight back and to hold firm to the principles which put us in direct conflict with torture chambers like Allegheny Jail. These comrades in solidarity with the prisoners did not fear entering into the belly of the beast and now we all must bravely defend them. Their charges include multiple trumped up felonies including conspiracy, rioting, possessing tools of a crime including fucking ball caps and black clothing. The bourgeois media wasted no time at all in posting identities to destroy the lives of the activists arrested, attempting to sentence them in the readers mind before trial, attempting to portray the rebels as drug fueled maniacs. The arrested includes some of our close comrades and supporters—revolutionaries committed to living in service of the people. While Social Democrats balked in the face of oppression and in traditional fashion ran to protect themselves only, the revolutionary section of Maoist and anarchist comrades showed great courage in confronting the pig system.

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Allegheny County Jail (ACJ) confines more than 2,500 people, and its population has increased by 70% in the last two decades. ACJ has a long history of abuse and was the subject of a 2010 FBI investigation that found officials there were covering up abuse of prisoners. Health conditions at the jail are also notoriously bad; eleven people died while incarcerated at ACJ in just 2014 and 2015. On March 21st revolutionary communists and anarchists in Pittsburgh converged on ACJ to stand in solidarity with those prisoners, pushing the chant of: “brick by brick, wall by wall, every prison has got to fall!” A day after, the capitalist press was crying over broken windows, as if these windows had families and loved ones – much like the inmates who face daily mental and physical torture do. The system knows there wouldn’t be broken windows if there wasn’t the violence and trauma, in the form of rape, the withholding of medical care, harassment by guards, and the deafening anomie of boredom, that comes with being locked up in the cramped urine-soaked dungeon cells of this capitalist-imperialist prison system. During the march several were arrested on multiple trumped-up felony charges. Every single person arrested, upon arriving into ACJ, were locked in the small processing cells for 23 to 24 hours, and with no mattress or blanket to boot. With only dirty floors and small metal shelves to sleep on, one comrade went a whole day and night, sleep deprived, without anticonvulsants for their seizure disorder. The enemy should be afraid and are correct in treating us as dangerous. They show how fearful they are when they do, because they know when they take one of us, we always gain one more. But this does not happen without us moving, nor does it happen without creating a safety-net for those who are arrested. If they want to frighten us with the prospect of decades-long jail time on the basis of extremely flimsy evidence, they should know they’ll face a flood of moral and material support. We call upon all our supporters to help assist in raising funds for our arrested comrades, if you wish in your heart to physically smash every cop car and every prison then donate a few dollars to those arrested and accused of such rebellion. Defend the Allegheny rebels! In Austin we have a firm principle of jail support for our abducted rebels, we stand in utmost solidarity with the comrades in Pittsburgh some of whom we have enjoyed close camaraderie with, who have spent tireless hours in support of the proletarian revolutionary cause. These charges are severe and some have 4 felonies each if we do not come through for these comrades they will face long term prison sentences, which will only serve to crush rebellion in its infancy. In the conditions of growing fascism of Trumps USA these arrests much like the hundreds of arrests around  J20 are nothing short of raw state repression to beat fear into the hearts of the people—hearts which right now cry out for REBELLION.

 “When the prison doors open the real dragon will fly out!”  – Ho Chi Minh

 

For more information:

https://itsgoingdown.org/rebellion-inside-outside-allegheny-county-jail-pittsburgh/

Please donate here:

https://fundrazr.com/81Do78?ref=ab_16Szs4

Red Guards Austin March 2017